Julia’s Big Adventures; Bringing FUN to kids at Children’s Minnesota!!

Hi, I’m Julia! Come join me on Saturday, June 3rd for my 2nd annual walk/run event to raise money for Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota! Bring your family, friends, and dog to walk along with you, your rollerblades, bikes & tricycles, wagons, and really anything you want to move on the trails! (3x around the course is a 5K!) This year we have added so many amazing things to my event! We will have a game area with life size Jenga, Yahtzee, and Bean Bag Toss! Play these for a chance to win cool prizes, plus a raffle for two REALLY amazing grand prizes at the end of the event! **The first is a two-night stay at Grand View Lodge in Nisswa, and the other is a one-night stay at the Holiday Inn Otsego with 4 passes to the waterpark!!** We will also have music that you can’t help but move to by our very fun DJ/Emcee, as well as a free photo booth for you to take away special memories of my event! Once again, we will have the amazing burger and hot dog baskets available for $5 from Boondox Bar & Grille which includes a cookie from the delicious Blue Egg Bakery! It is going to be so much fun and I am VERY excited! **Please make sure to register by May 25th to receive a t-shirt that has my very own logo design on it!** After May 25th or at the event, you will receive one of my cool wristbands upon registering.

I was a patient in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Minneapolis in 2011 when I was 5 years old. I loved the hospital so much that I started raising money for the kids there when I was 7. Every year I raise a little more than before, and last year was the biggest year yet with a total raised of $10,723.30! The walk/run event was super successful and helped bring in $4,666.63 of that. This year I would like to try and raise at least $5,000 at my walk/run, and reach a combined total for 2016/2017 of $20,000. That means I’ll need to raise just under $9,300 this year! That’s a lot of money, but I’m excited to see if I can do it!

All of the money that I raised last year went to Child Life Services. CLS is a very important part of Children’s because they not only bring lots of activities and therapy toys to the kids to let them have fun while they’re helping them get better, but they also spend time with families of patients to help them learn more about the diagnoses of their loved one. They do much more than that, but those are the ways they affected my family and I when we were at the hospital. This year all the money I raise will go towards Star Studio. Star Studio is where Children’s live in-house TV show broadcasts from, and the star of the show is The Dude! He is one of my favorite people!! He makes being in the hospital so much fun because you can watch him even if you’re in bed or getting a treatment, and you can interact with him by playing games, answering trivia, and other really fun things! I have even gotten to be on his show a few times and will be again this June 1st to talk about my walk/run event, and then again on November 22nd which is the day I’ll turn in what I’ve raised in 2017! I actually had an appointment with my doctor just yesterday and when The Dude saw me, he invited me to be on his show with him! I hurried over after my appointment and played really fun games with him and his guests (Frog and Toad from the Children’s Theater Company). We had so much fun!

A lot of people don’t know about Star Studio and are surprised to learn about it. I’ve learned a lot on all the tours I’ve gotten to take at the hospital, and one thing I know is that Star Studio needs our help because they are 100% funded by donations from people like us! I am very excited to be helping them this year! Here is what a friend of mine who works at Children’s told me about the studio.

“Our program was started back in 1978 by a Children’s security officer named Larry Johnson. He rigged up a security camera and broadcasted the ‘Electronic Get Well Card’ show, where he would read greetings and well-wishes to patients with his sock puppet Tyler. From there, the show grew into the ‘Wishing Well’ hosted by Children’s Librarian Kathy Rokke, and then the ‘Can-Can Cafe’ featuring several different characters and actors, including the official introduction of The Dude! However, in 2006 the program was shut down due to the lack of funding, but thanks to donors and the Children’s Association – Minneapolis, Star Studio was re-opened in Minneapolis with a brand new studio in 2008, and a St. Paul studio in 2013 thanks to the Teammates for Kids Foundation!

Now, our team of eight works to broadcast more than 10 live programs a week with ‘Kids Clubhouse’ and ‘Bingo’ being our staple shows offered to patients and families.

In 2016, we had over 1,700 people call in to our shows, with nearly 3,000 people stopping by our studios to watch shows live in our audience.

Donations to our program help us stay up to date with technology, provide support for our live shows out in the community like our annual ‘Choose the Dude’s Adventure at the Minnesota State Fair,’ and cover daily operational costs for our live shows. We also use funds to purchase fun Star Studio branded toys and prizes for patients and siblings, like teddy bears, yo-yos, and dancing robots!”

See?? I told you Star Studio was really cool!! 🙂

If you can’t make it to my walk/run event but would still like to donate, here is the link to my fundraising page. There you will learn more about my health and fundraising journeys, too! Thank you so much for visiting. I hope to see you on June 3rd!